2018 April Minutes

Richmond Free Library
Board of Trustees

Meeting Minutes – April 12, 2018

Present:  Jenna Bisset, Jana Brown, Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Rebecca Mueller and Christy Witters, Selectboard Library Liaison

Minutes from March Meeting

The Minutes from the March 1, 2018 meeting were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith reported that in the 9th month of our yearly budget, we should be at about 75% of budget expended and in almost all categories we are at or below that percentage.  Based on the town auditors’ recommendation, Connie has asked if income from Community Room fees could be sent to the office more often than once a month.  Trustees agreed with Rebecca that she could send over this income with the warrant twice a month.

Librarian’s Report – Rebecca shared the following items via email prior to the meeting – those items with Discussion indicated were topics for the meeting.

  • A staff retreat will be held to share new strategic plan and to discuss ideas and goals. We will focus on space reconfiguration and potential programming.  We have design sketches with possible changes, but it looks to be an involved and somewhat expensive project.  I will share proposals at a later Trustee meeting.  Discussion: Rebecca reported that she has had a builder look at, and make suggestions for renovating the circulation area to reflect changes based on staff discussions and Strategic Plan recommendations.  Trustees felt that they might want to have additional input and Laurie will talk with an architect friend to see if they might be willing to look at the space and needs.
  • Staff and I have been facilitating AARP volunteers work with people needing to file tax returns.
  • We have developed a collaborative relationship with the Mansfield Coop. Students are deeply involved with the Vermont Reads Project and will have a performance art & poetry session related to the book, Bread and Roses, Too.  The Coop students look forward to Katharine Paterson’s visit in June.
  • Ongoing support to book groups, community senior center programming, music programs and community groups.
  • Everyone on the babysitter’s certification course was accommodated. When we made reminder calls a week in advance, several registrants dropped out and those on the waiting list were able to attend.   A parent in the community is organizing another class with Richmond Rescue.
  • “Song of the Vikings: the Making of Norse Myths,” a Vermont Humanities Council presentation by Nancy Marie Brown on March 18, was well attended and received. (45 in attendance)
  • March Legos has had a small but dedicated following.
  • Mud Season Playgroup on Saturdays has been well received by those parents who are unable to bring their children during the week.
  • I have provided some input into the Town Plan: Utilities and Facilities. Inserting some language regarding the what/why of the Library to emphasize the importance of maintaining and repairing the building.
  • I met with Breadloaf architectural firm, along with the Town Manager, to discuss results of the building assessments. Emphasis is on life/safety issues.  The library needs to address the open stairwell in the community room.   There are non-life/safety issues and recommendations.  A final assessment report is forthcoming.  Discussion:  One of the recommendations was that new building codes would require that the stairwell in the community room be enclosed.  Rebecca asked the Fire Marshall about this and he will be inspecting.  His initial response was that we do not have to follow new regulations unless we plan to renovate in that area.
  • I have met with a contractor to explore replacing entrance door and will be receiving proposals.
  • A “Spring’s Evolving Landscape” workshop was led by Kathy Wysocky Johnson & Judy Bush on Sunday, April 8. There were 17 participants.  This is an ongoing activity.
  • I have requested a proposal from Glaeser Sign Company to provide new lawn sign and sign for the front of the building. Discussion: Trustees would like to see this item accomplished soon as it has been on the list for quite some time. Trustees wondered if a second estimate (Sign Design was suggested) was warranted.  The plan would be to build a new sign that is moved away from the building and perpendicular to the road so it is visible.  Rebecca would also like to add a small sign on the canopy by the stairs.  There was some discussion about whether the cost should come from maintenance, Capital Reserve or Friends funding.  No decision was reached.
  • Electric Vehicle charging stations proposed (from Richmond Climate Action Committee)
  • A Picture Book Art Reception was held on Wed., April 11.
  • “After hours” incident. Discussion:  There was an incident in which a staff member discovered an unauthorized person sheltering in the library vestibule at a time when the library was closed but the Community Room was being used–so the door had been propped open.  This individual was later discovered to be known to the Police as a problematic individual.  Trustees discussed the fact that, because the community room does not have a separate entrance, it is always necessary to allow access through the front doors to after-hours groups.  Trustees agreed with Rebecca that, at least, we need to find a solution that does not involve visibly propping the door open.  Laurie suggested changing the lock-code mechanism so that it allows the door to be “unlocked” for a period of time, rather than propped open.  She will explore the cost and brand of lock system installed by Dion at the new Lyric building and provide information for Rebecca.
  • The Library will be closed on Friday, May 18, for the Vermont Library Association Conference.

Election of Officers

The following slate of candidates for Officers was proposed:  Laurie Dana, Chair; Keith Franz, Treasurer, and Ellen Crary, Secretary.  The slate was elected unanimously.

Meeting Schedule

Trustees agreed that the Richmond Free Library Board of Trustees official meeting time will remain the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Monthly Planning Calender

Trustees reviewed the revised Monthly Planning Calendar presented by Rebecca Mueller and feel that all of the necessary items are reflected.

Strategic Plan

Laurie stated that she will be working on the design for the strategic plan document and will have a draft ready for the May meeting.  At that meeting, Rebecca will also present the action items under each category that the staff had developed for discussion and review.  Geoff Urbanik suggested that the library present the strategic plan to the Selectboard at some point in the next few months.

Next Meeting:

The next Trustees meeting will be Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library.

Agenda items will include review of the Strategic Plan draft, update on sign quote, update on lock research.


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